Natalie Frank: Painting with Paper
On view through February 13, 2022
Brattleboro Museum & Art Center
This exhibition presents and explores “Women and Animals,” a new body of work that Natalie Frank (American, b. 1980) produced at Dieu Donné, Brooklyn, New York, with a Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant in 2019–20. In this series, Frank works with wet pigmented cotton and linen paper pulp to create dynamic feminist portraits that engage with contemporary conversations about gender, fantasy, power, and sensuality.
Frank’s artistic process and materials defy hand-papermaking’s associations with craft and women’s work. The making of these portraits is as spontaneous as their wild forms, bright colors, and tactile surfaces suggest, but it is also highly laborious. Frank applies paper pulp, which consists of still-wet, hand-pigmented pieces of linen, to a wet sheet of formed cotton paper pulp. She primarily uses brushes and spoons but also pours the pulp from cups. In the process, which she describes as a mix of painting and drawing, Frank finds a freedom that inspires her imagination and allows her to capture it immediately in visual form.
[Image: Natalie Frank, “Woman with Fox” (2020), linen paper pulp on cotton base sheet, 25.5 x 18.5 inches from “Painting with Paper” Collection of Andrea Krantz and Harvey Sawikin, NY, courtesy of Barbara Schwartz and Lianne Sheplar.]